Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Are We The Clothes We Wear?

People judge us by our outward appearance, but in the long run the way we conduct ourselves is much more important. Once you develop your mind and cultivate appealing inner virtues, clothes become less important.

Mahatma Ghandi proved that the clothes do not always “make the man”. He wore only a loincloth as a way to identify himself with the humble masses of India.

He once arrived dressed that way at a party thrown by an English governor. The servants turned him away at the door, so he went home and sent a package by courier to the Governor. What was in the package? A suit. When the Governor called and asked the meaning of the package, Ghandi replied: “I was invited to your party, but I was not allowed entrance because of my dress, therefore I have sent you my suit instead.” Even during his visit to London, Ghandi went to visit the Queen of England wearing only a loincloth.

Of course, I don't personally recommended that you dress this way. Ghandi had a mission to fulfill and this was part of his role (and his rhetoric).

Clothing in western society, for women especially, is geared towards sexuality. The media and fashion industry makes millions of dollars by convincing us that clothing not only is an outward expression of who you are and what creed you belong to, but also that you need the right clothing to get what you want in life. While this may even be true to some extent, there is definitely too much emphasis placed on our outward appearance.

Take for example, the argument in favour of the burka. While the popular Western sentiment may see this as a symbol of sexual oppression within certain cultures, many women from those cultures will express that wearing a burka frees them from the judgement and sexuality that the rest of the world attaches to clothing and physical beauty.

The point is: while your outward appearance is important, it is far from being the centre of the universe. To give the body too little or too much focus can leave you insecure and unbalanced. What is most important is your mind and behavior. That's what people respond to.

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